Walmart doing what State and Federal Program have failed to do

 

Iowa corn fertilizer-USDA NRCSFertilizer being spread on Iowa corn field. Courtesy USDA NRCSThe Gulf Restoration Network, and its partners, has tried for 15 years to get state and federal governments to work with farmers to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution flowing down the Mississippi River that causes the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico.  Much of this pollution results from over application of fertilizer. The conservation community even asked Congress to require that as a condition of getting federal subsidies and conservation dollars, farmers be required to create plans would help them to reduce their use of fertilizer and implement practices reduce runoff of fertilizer into local waterbodies.  All of these efforts were met with resistance. As a result, the level pollution flowing down the river has not decreased at all and the Dead Zone continues.

Now, Walmart has begun an initiative to reduce fertilizer on 14 million acres of farmland by 2020 by requiring that suppliers of crops, including the big three -- wheat, corn, and soy -- to develop “fertilizer-optimization plans.”  Farmers have always said they want the market, rather than regulation, to drive their practices, and now they have it.

I find it sad, however, that a corporation like Walmart is taking action to protect the people and the environment from nutrient pollution when our federal and state agencies won’t.  In fact, states, including Louisiana and Florida are working to stop nitrogen and phosphorus pollution clean-up plans in the Chesapeake Bay!

Good for Walmart.  We are looking forward to hearing more details about this initiative and the cleaner water that could result.

Cyn is GRN's Executive Director

<--break->

Recent Posts

In mid-March, Mississippi’s Department of Marine Resources and Governor announced two new oyster projects that...
Written by Andrew Whitehurst
Friday, 22 March 2019
An edited version of this article originally appeared on the blog of the Marine Fish...
Written by Kendall Dix
Friday, 22 March 2019
Florida is still reeling from a disastrous 2018 in which south Florida waterways suffered a...
Written by Christian Wagley
Tuesday, 19 March 2019
The following is a blog written by Emily N. Donahoe, Legal Intern, from George Washington...
Written by Guest Blogger
Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Last summer the Rankin Hinds Pearl River Flood Control and Drainage District published its Draft...
Written by Andrew Whitehurst
Wednesday, 06 February 2019
The following is a blog written by Emily N. Donahoe, Legal Intern, from George Washington...
Written by Guest Blogger
Thursday, 10 January 2019
A bit of bipartisanship snuck into the holiday season, and thousands of acres of dunes,...
Written by Christian Wagley
Tuesday, 08 January 2019

Latest Actions

SHARE THIS PAGE